Bellevue College Redesigns Website After Eight Years: Student Needs and Accessibility at Forefront

Landerholm Circle roundabout in summer
Landerholm Circle courtesy of Bellevue College

If anyone has visited the Bellevue College website as of April 6, they’ll have noticed the website has changed. The BC website was last updated in 2013, and with advancements in web development, it was time for a redesign. Rebecca Chawgo, the Vice President of Institutional Advancement, explained that “it was important for us to update one of our major tools for communicating with current and prospective students.” When undergoing this four-year process, the redesign team strived to meet accessibility standards, place student needs at the forefront and reimagine the BC Pathways to be more functional. Eric Kong, IT project manager for the redesign, explained that “the redesign was informed by input from the campus community, along with countless hours of qualitative and quantitative research with internal and external college stakeholders.” In this redesign, there is an overhaul of 40 subsites, with 150 new pages and entries for each BC degree and certification program.

Of course, there will be an adjustment period with such a big change. Kong described that the response has generally been positive, with an appreciation for the new look. Although there have also been questions on where some elements have gone, Kong said, “Visitors have been pretty receptive, with many immediately bookmarking the pages they most frequently use, adapting to the new design rather quickly.” Brooklyn Bauman, a current BC student, explained that they found accessing the redesigned website difficult, especially when finding pages and resources for current students. Bauman said, “Students that go to our school right now go on the site all the time and I feel it is targeted towards new students so it makes it a lot harder.”

While the main homepage does focus on prospective students, there is an easy drop-down menu for BC members to navigate on the updated website. To locate this drop-down menu, go to the three lines in the top right corner of the screen. There will be a tab that says “Information For.” By clicking on that, options of select pages designed for future students, current students, faculty and staff, and community and visitors will be displayed. Additionally, there is a quick links section towards the bottom of the homepage, just above the footer. 

The BC IT team flags requests for updates to the BC website daily, which they then consider for redesign ideas. In this update, the focus was the homepage and directly related pages. A second update is still in the works for the remaining unaffected pages. From Kong and the BC IT team, “We appreciate your continued patience and support. This has been a long time coming, and the community has been generous with their time and input. Thank you!”